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"Infected With Doubt" - Jana Reiss Poll (part 2)

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1 hour ago, JulieM said:

For some who learn for the first time that Joseph married teenagers (as young as 14) or that he married women married to other men, no reason, justification, or explanation will ever make that right. 

Well, all the critics call it marriage, but I have never seen any convincing evidence that JS consummated a "marriage" to women already married. No progeny, etc.  Their children seem to always be the children of their husbands. So, I readily believe these were sealings for eternity, and not legally binding "marriages" the civil law would recognize. If you are that uncomfortable with JS marrying a 14 year old girl, then it seems you would have problems with many, many marriages of ancient prophets. That was not an unusual age back then. The Bible just doesn't give ages, but if it did, you would probably be shocked.

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9 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I go farther back into the past than you, and I don't remember this taboo -- not even in the pre-block meeting days.

 

Ah, but I never said taboo. It was a mark of an ultra righteous family, though, and it was not be unusual to hear that advice in church anymore than it used to be common to hear the lists of what not to do on the Sabbath. It was a who can be the most showy dedicated member thing, though....I don't remember it coming from on high.  And trust me, you don't go farther into the past than I do :-)

Edited by juliann
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4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Well maybe it was where you lived, because I remember a time that we were advised to stay in our church clothes all day. 

I lived pretty much where I do now: in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley, about 15 miles south of the capital city, pretty much in the heart of Mormondom. I’ve known probably thousands of Mormons, worshipped with a hundred or more at a time at least once a week. I’ve never met one yet who insisted that to observe the Sabbath one has to stay dressed in Sunday best all day. And that includes a fair share of bishops and stake presidents and a mom who was a stake Relief Society president and a stickler for keeping the Sabbath day holy. We were not permitted to watch sports or go shopping on Sunday, but we were permitted — nay, expected — to change clothes after coming home from church. 

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1 hour ago, JulieM said:

         or that he married women married to other men,  

 

I think what you meant to say was that married women married him, right? Because no forward thinking/progressive ex-Mormon should be upset by that, it is hardly a conservative position. And surely they wouldn't move to the women are stupid dupes trope.....

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19 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Well, all the critics call it marriage, but I have never seen any convincing evidence that JS consummated a "marriage" to women already married. No progeny, etc.  Their children seem to always be the children of their husbands. So, I readily believe these were sealings for eternity, and not legally binding "marriages" the civil law would recognize. If you are that uncomfortable with JS marrying a 14 year old girl, then it seems you would have problems with many, many marriages of ancient prophets. That was not an unusual age back then. The Bible just doesn't give ages, but if it did, you would probably be shocked.

Consider yourself womansplained.

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2 hours ago, juliann said:

Ah, but I never said taboo. It was a mark of an ultra righteous family, though, and it was not be unusual to hear that advice in church anymore than it used to be common to hear the lists of what not to do on the Sabbath. And trust me, you don't go farther into the past than I do :-)

Not to act longer-in-the-tooth-than-thou, but Saturday night was a milestone for me. For the first time, I took advantage of the senior discount at a movie theater. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Not to act longer-in-the-tooth-than-thou, but Saturday night was a landmark for me. For the first time, I took advantage of the senior discount at a movie theater. 

Youngster.

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3 hours ago, Bobbieaware said:

It’s the “Minority Report” thread bannings I’ve seem here that get to me 😀. In the movie, futuristic law enforcement officers use high technology to determine when a particular individual is about to commit a crime. So they go around arresting and incarcerating people before they’ve actually broken any laws..The plot thickens when it’s learned the “precog” technology they’re relying on turnes out to be faulty.

Never seen that one either, but it sounds like yet another dystopian fantasy. 

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18 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I lived pretty much where I do now: in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley, about 15 miles south of the capital city, pretty much in the heart of Mormondom. I’ve known probably thousands of Mormons, worshipped with a hundred or more at a time at least once a week. I’ve never met one yet who insisted that to observe the Sabbath one has to stay dressed in Sunday best all day. And that includes a fair share of bishops and stake presidents and a mom who was a stake Relief Society president and a stickler for keeping the Sabbath day holy. We were not permitted to watch sports or go shopping on Sunday, but we were permitted — nay, expected — to change clothes after coming home from church. 

Really? How about your observations, did you ever see families stay in them all day? I remember feeling guilty when I'd show up at family get togethers or visiting my in-laws on Sunday where everyone would be, if I wasn't wearing Sunday clothes. But soon this changed, and people were wearing whatever they wanted. It seemed it lasted for a short time. Because I don't remember anything before this point in time or after that I worried I should be wearing church clothes all day. I know a few still wear their outfits all day, but maybe that's because they're too tired to change clothes, don't know for sure. ETA: My husband asked what I was discussing on here, he does that sometimes, and when I told him, he said he remembers it was suggested somewhere and remembers it well. He said he thought you might be out of the loop, haha!! 

Edited by Tacenda

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9 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Remember the "doubters" includes ONE THIRD FORMER Mormons!!

In that case, not too shabby at all!

-

So total sample size was 1156 + 540 = 1696

540/1696 = 31.8 %

Yes of course if one is a FORMER Mormon one would definitely be a "doubter".

So why are any included at all?

Obviously these numbers are worthless unless I am missing something BIG.

Please 'splain me.  ;)

 

I'm having a hard time finding it right now, but I was pretty sure that I remember reading a post on her blog where she said that self-identifying Mormons they surveyed were asked about whether they ever had seriously doubted teachings of the church. About half never had serious issues, and then some had occasional or minor issues, and then another segment of Mormons had serious issues. I assume that it is this third group that they categorize as "Doubters." If I remember correctly the ex-Mormons were surveyed about the reasons for them leaving the church, so they would have been asked different questions and not counted as Mormons, doubters or otherwise. Perhaps cinepro will be able to confirm whether I remember correctly.

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I don't like that people are so swift to jump to the conclusion that Jana Riess is completely incompetent at doing surveys and that this survey is worthless and meant to discredit the church. I'm sure that one could probably find things to criticize about their study, but you should probably actually read it first instead of just assuming it's junk. I think that Dialogue has high enough standards that they wouldn't publish a non-scientific survey like the one John Dehlin did a while ago. Also even if you disagree with her approach to our religion, she is a faithful member and everything I have read from her has led me to believe that she thinks what she does is helping the church.

(Also it's off-topic, but I have to say that her book on spiritual lessons in Buffy the Vampire Slayer I thought had some really great insights and actually helped me out quite a bit during a rough patch in my life where I didn't really want to engage with the church that much but was willing to read a book about one of my favorite shows).

I also wanted to note that I grew up in a family that wore Sunday clothes during the whole Sabbath (this would be the 90s and 2000s), so it is definitely a thing. As far as I know my parents still do this, but my siblings that have moved out we have all dropped this practice.

Edited by mapman
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53 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Well, all the critics call it marriage, but I have never seen any convincing evidence that JS consummated a "marriage" to women already married. No progeny, etc.  Their children seem to always be the children of their husbands. 

Does that even really matter that much?  He married many of the teens and women behind Emma’s back deceiving her and some of the husbands of the women involved.  Whether he consummated them or not is really not the point when members learn about these marriages.  You can try to make light of this and it’s fine if it doesn’t bother you, but the fact remains that many members are very upset when they discover this truth and others.  The church is doing a better job at revealing what really took place with the details of Joseph’s polygamy and let’s hope it works.  But from what I’ve seen, a lot of members are still not aware of what took place and find out by reading the CES letter and other writings.

Edited by JulieM
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38 minutes ago, juliann said:

I think what you meant to say was that married women married him, right? Because no forward thinking/progressive ex-Mormon should be upset by that, it is hardly a conservative position. And surely they wouldn't move to the women are stupid dupes trope.....

I would hope not.  I feel the women were the heroes and were very faithful in most all cases.  Their stories are amazing to read.

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9 hours ago, cinepro said:

Not to totally derail the thread, but I think this is something that can vary quite a bit by locality and tradition.  Growing up, we would always wear suits and ties when going to any meeting or activity on Sundays, including open houses, firesides, and home teaching.  In the ward I lived in in Los Angeles from 2000 - 2007, it was the same thing. 

Then we moved to the suburbs and it's almost the opposite.  I show up to Sunday-afternoon open houses in a tie, and everyone else is wearing shorts and flip-flops (even in February).  We haven't had home teachers in years so I don't know what anyone else is doing, but I still wear a suit out of habit.  But I might have to change that...

It is good to dress up for special and sacred occasions. I just hate wearing a tie.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Really? How about your observations, did you ever see families stay in them all day? I remember feeling guilty when I'd show up at family get togethers or visiting my in-laws on Sunday where everyone would be, if I wasn't wearing Sunday clothes. But soon this changed, and people were wearing whatever they wanted. It seemed it lasted for a short time. Because I don't remember anything before this point in time or after that I worried I should be wearing church clothes all day. I know a few still wear their outfits all day, but maybe that's because they're too tired to change clothes, don't know for sure. ETA: My husband asked what I was discussing on here, he does that sometimes, and when I told him, he said he remembers it was suggested somewhere and remembers it well. He said he thought you might be out of the loop, haha!! 

I remember my cousins having to stay in their church clothes all day on Sunday.  I always felt bad for them.  I’m glad this practice has stopped for the most part. (I am surprised it’s a part of this survey too!)

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1 hour ago, JulieM said:

Does that even really matter that much?  He married many of the teens and women behind Emma’s back deceiving her and some of the husbands of the women involved.  Whether he consummated them or not is really not the point when members learn about these marriages.  You can try to make light of this and it’s fine if it doesn’t bother you, but the fact remains that many members are very upset when they discover this truth and others.  The church is doing a better job at revealing what really took place with the details of Joseph’s polygamy and let’s hope it works.  But from what I’ve seen, a lot of members are still not aware of what took place and find out by reading the CES letter and other writings.

Well, one problem is knowing what did take place. Most of the info is decades after the fact, and the anti's get their chance at "expanding" the knowledge of it, and many "facts" do not agree. I do not disagree with the possibility or probability that JS erred somewhere along the line.

D&C 132:56 And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, 

This seems to speak to what you are referring to. Does sin bother me? Well, it does bother me that JS seemed to do some of this without consent, but it seems the Lord was willing to forgive him, if Emma was. Our second-guessing what actually happened doesn't seem too right to me either. I would have more problem with it all if Joseph's sealings to the wives of other men were popping out Joseph's babies, but it just seems like that never happened. The critics certainly paint the picture, but the physical evidence doesn't comport with their picture, so I have to conclude that in actuality something else was going on than what the critics want us to believe. I am willing to believe that these particular sealings ie "marriages" were for eternity only. For those who want to read something other than a Critics-only Viewpoint, I would suggest this author:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1589586859/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Edited by RevTestament
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I have never understood that Joseph Smith Infallibility Theory

It comes from singing "Praise to the Man"

"Mingling with gods he can plan for his brethren"?

That's not for us to judge, he was just a sinner like the rest of us, who was a genius, but still very human. 

"I was never disillusioned because I was never illusioned in the first place" - McMurrin

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13 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I have never understood that Joseph Smith Infallibility Theory

It comes from singing "Praise to the Man"

"Mingling with gods he can plan for his brethren"?

That's not for us to judge, he was just a sinner like the rest of us, who was a genius, but still very human. 

"I was never disillusioned because I was never illusioned in the first place" - McMurrin

There is a huge difference between not being infallible and being too fallible. I believe that faithful LDS too often use the nobody's perfect excuse to justify questionable behavior or revelations.

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7 hours ago, Thinking said:

There is a huge difference between not being infallible and being too fallible. I believe that faithful LDS too often use the nobody's perfect excuse to justify questionable behavior or revelations.

Hmm.  What instances do you have in mind of LDS leaders "being too fallible?"  Same goes for "questionable . . . revelations."

And by what metric are such things measured?

Thanks,

-Smac

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10 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Well, all the critics call it marriage, but I have never seen any convincing evidence that JS consummated a "marriage" to women already married. No progeny, etc.  Their children seem to always be the children of their husbands. So, I readily believe these were sealings for eternity, and not legally binding "marriages" the civil law would recognize. If you are that uncomfortable with JS marrying a 14 year old girl, then it seems you would have problems with many, many marriages of ancient prophets. That was not an unusual age back then. The Bible just doesn't give ages, but if it did, you would probably be shocked.

I hate to chime in on this because in part this just gets silly.  I notice that Brian Hales uses the language of "legally married women who were experiencing conjugal relations with their civil husbands" to describe a sub-group of women whom Joseph might not have had sex with, at least he can't, like you, find any credible evidence of it.  But at some point he went from, as it seems to have happened, the statement like you made--JS did not consummate with women already married to the newer statement of not just already married.  Mostly because, it seems likely, he started to accept evidence for women already married but in his estimation weren't also experiencing conjugal relations with their other husbands.  In the end, it's a really puzzle-y way to try and categorize his wives.  Luckily in a sense, the act we're discussing is really just an act between two people hidden away from others, so it's near impossible to know for sure on any of them, all these many years later.  And with that said, it's as easy to deny sex happened between two people, 170-80 years after they were married than it is to deny Jesus lived.  Any evidence supporting the possibility means it's not convincing enough to conclude sex, or existence.  It feels like a pretty sticky place to be in though.

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9 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Well, one problem is knowing what did take place.

There are certainly enough details known about Joseph's polygamy to cause many members to be shocked and upset when they learn about them for the first time.  We can argue over what has actually been proven beyond a doubt, but let's be honest here regarding what we do know and how if affects many members when they are first exposed to it.  I have found very few who at least didn't stumble a bit when they learned about the details or at the very least did an "is that really true?" moment.  

Some may be able to accept that it happened and move on.  I'm in that camp and believe I will hopefully understand more after this life.  But for now, I believe polygamy came from man and not from God.  I believe Joseph was wrong to live it as he did and it's a sad, huge mistake he made that the church is still suffering from today.  Sins were committed, IMO, and many members were hurt and betrayed (starting with Emma).  I'm not sure how one can believe that came from God, but I continue to have faith that it'll all be made right.

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19 hours ago, ksfisher said:

My initial thoughts are that the percentage without a recommend should actually be higher.  Admittedly I'm only familiar with my local area.

Note this isn't number of people without a recommend but number of people who had a recommend and no longer have it. That seems to high for that figure. Especially given the push to have recommends even if you're not regularly attending the temple. Although perhaps it's high simply because people farther away from temples don't feel the need.

11 hours ago, TOmNossor said:

I have a simple concern.

How could one become a respondent?  How was the sample selected?  How will this impact the results?

Did the church randomize all folks who were ever baptized and then give a list of 10000 folks to our survey folks?   I doubt this.

I believe it was a randomized poll where they just kept calling people until they found someone who was a Mormon or former Mormon. They then weighted the results by region to make up for oversampling in places like Utah and make it geographically representative. While there are reasons to be skeptical of some things, it does appear that Jana was very focused on making this statistically relevant. As I said she used to have up a discussion of methodology but I can't find it online now. Does anyone with the Dialogue article know if they went through such issues there?

Making it statistically significant was why it cost so much money. Getting 1000 people take a lot of calling. It's expensive.

13 hours ago, JulieM said:

I know that many here believe the apologetic responses or feel they are answers to their questions.  But for a great many who read these letters and learn upsetting truths, no answer makes it ok or right.  Their feelings about Joseph Smith (and others) are changed and former teachings and beliefs are shattered.

I think most people here recognize that. The only answer really is from God and the spirit. No amount of apologetic by FAIR or others can resolve those particular issues independent of God.

However those aren't the majority of charges that critics make. I'd be the first to admit they are the strongest but clearly people don't just stick to them.

15 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Our stake is highly diverse and represents many different cultures.

I have never even heard of anyone teaching these principles in our stake. Because we are in LA many people have passes to Disneyland, Universal Studios etc. And I see Facebook posts on a regular basis from even stake auxiliary leaders showing that they attend such facilities on Sundays without even thinking about it.

That's kind of surprising. I grew up in the mission field - far more mission field than the typical California region where there really are a lot of Mormons. Everyone knew not going shopping, to movies or stores was the rule. Now not everyone followed it. But the bigger issue were disagreement on things like watching TV on Sunday. But I don't think this is a Utah thing. It's repeated rather regularly in Church magazines, conference talks, and lessons. I don't deny in the least this may be a cultural thing in California. But it seems odd that not even the leadership there teaches it.

I should note that I'm a little hypocritical here as I have run to Smiths to get something for Sunday dinner if we've forgotten an ingredient and have company. I'll also regularly take the kids for a drive so my wife can have some alone time to nap. That usually involves getting gas and I'll occasionally get a pop the same time. I've been trying to be better about not going into the gas station on Sundays and only getting gas though. Especially now that my kids are getting older. So it's definitely a principle I don't live as well as I could.

Edited by clarkgoble
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22 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Note this isn't number of people without a recommend but number of people who had a recommend and no longer have it. That seems to high for that figure. Especially given the push to have recommends even if you're not regularly attending the temple. Although perhaps it's high simply because people farther away from temples don't feel the need.

 

Yes, I understood that.  My experience is that the number should be closer to 1/3 to 1/2 of endowed members not having a current recommend. 

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